Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions regarding COVID-19 and OSU's response. Questions and answers are updated frequently, so check back often for more information.

Research facilities are only currently open and available as specified in formally approved individual research resumption plans. Researchers should consult with their principal investigators, department heads, deans or the vice president for research, as appropriate, to learn more. Research resumption guidance and the formal research resumption request form can be accessed at: Keep Researching.

Last updated: July 6, 2020

There may be situations where you find that a grant-funded student or staff member is not able to perform their duties, and you may have questions about continuing to charge their time to your grant. Under these conditions, the staff member should utilize the federally-mandated 80-hour COVID leave. Note that, following OSU leave policies, the leave will be applied proportionally to all indices associated with the labor distribution of the staff member, including grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, gift, or other funds.

If an employee has used up their COVID leave and all other leave balances but still cannot perform their duties, please contact your assigned Human Resources Strategic Partner or a member of the Employee and Labor Relations Team to discuss the details of the situation.

Last updated: March 31, 2020

80 hours of paid leave is federally mandated.  80 hours of leave is available to all OSU employees, regardless of the funding source that provides salary (e.g. state funding, grant funding, gift or alternative funding).  Individuals paid on grants will be entitled to the leave in the same way as other OSU employees, and their salary should continue to be charged to the grant and other indices per allowability guidelines regardless of usage of COVID leave or other leave. 

If an alternative funding mechanism materializes at a future date, we will assist in moving labor charges as appropriate, but no such funding mechanism is currently available.

Last updated: March 31, 2020

Until further notice, all non-essential domestic and international OSU-sponsored travel remains suspended. The process for requesting exceptions is addressed in a separate question.

For domestic travel, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown indicates it is essential for the health, safety and welfare of the state of Oregon during the ongoing state of emergency that individuals continue to stay at or near their home or place of residence when possible. Please check the Oregon Health Authority and Office of the Governor for the most current guidance and restrictions in Oregon. Here are considerations for domestic travelers from the CDC. We further encourage travelers to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation while away.

For international travel, the U.S. Department of State raised the Global Travel Heath Advisory to Level to 4: Do Not Travel on March 19, 2020. The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial travel options remain available, U.S. citizens should arrange for immediate return to the United States unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite length of time. For more information about possible travel restrictions, contact your destination's U.S. Embassy or Consulate or visit the U.S. Department of State website.

Be aware that countries are implementing both international and internal movement restrictions and enforcing curfews. Commercial air travel options are very limited in certain places. The best resources for inquiries about flight availability are individual air carriers serving each country.

As of March 27, 2020, all locations are under a worldwide CDC Level 3 Pandemic Warning.

Please follow these standard precautions whether traveling domestically or internationally.

While Traveling

  • Travel with a full supply of any regular medications. Prescription medications should always be packaged in original containers
  • Travel with all key documents, including health insurance, passport and official identification.
  • Keep cell phones charged and operational; check email daily; consider getting an extra battery or power bank.
  • If you develop symptoms, call the local health care facility, hotline or national emergency number to seek medical advice. Follow the local procedure for your location. When travelling to a medical facility, consider wearing a mask, using private transport and avoiding close contact with others as much as possible.
  • Continue to stay informed about your travel destinations by checking the U.S. State Department and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) websites; registering for the STEP Program or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country of citizenship; monitoring local news; and consulting with the international insurance provider.
  • Follow the directives of local authorities at both the national and municipal level.
  • Be prepared to remain in one location for at least up to 14 days.

Travel Health Precautions

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often for 20 seconds or more with soap, or use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
  • Practice Social Distancing: avoid crowded places, keep six feet (about 2 meters) away from others, even if they appear well, and avoid direct contact with them.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces like phone, keyboard, doorknobs, desks or tablets.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue; then throw the tissue away.
  • Get adequate sleep, eat well-balanced meals, stay hydrated and use high-quality vitamins to support a healthy immune system.
  • Avoid touching mouth, eyes, and nose.

U.S. Inbound international Travel

Updated July 10, 2020

Until further notice, all non-essential domestic and international OSU-travel remains suspended.

Currently restrictions on entering the U.S. from international travel can be found at U.S. Department of State COVID-19 Traveler Information website.

For information about travel restrictions between Canada, Mexico and the USA, please reference the Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet.    

U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance for those returning to the U.S.:

  • The CDC asks any travelers arriving to the U.S. from a location abroad to take precautions and stay at home for 14 days.
  • As of March 27, 2020, all locations are under a worldwide CDC Level 3 Pandemic Warning.  Those arriving to the U.S. from all locations should:
    • Monitor your health and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
    • If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:
      • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
      • Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
      • Avoid contact with others.
      • Do not travel while sick.
      • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

U.S. Outbound International Travel

Updated July 10, 2020

Currently all non-essential international OSU-sponsored travel remains suspended for 2020. We are very much looking forward to resuming international travel as soon as conditions allow. Please contact the OSU Office of Global Opportunities (OSUGO) for the most current information on the status of study abroad programs and international travel destinations.

Exceptions to OSU’s travel suspension are granted only for essential OSU-sponsored travel, and may be granted by the relevant dean, vice provost or vice president. Exceptions should be rare, and requests should weigh the relative risks of travel against the potential serious disruption to research or university programs. Examples of essential travel may include:

  • Travel required to fulfill contractual agreements and that may not be cancelled or postponed under the terms of those agreements.
  • Field work-related travel with seasonal or other particular constraints.
  • Travel—generally by automobile—between university locations that is essential to maintain business continuity or to carry out university research, teaching, engagement, operational or leadership activities. (In these cases, we ask travelers to take care to sanitize their vehicles, especially motor pool or other shared use vehicles; manage occupancy to maximize social distancing; avoid overnight stays; and limit use of hotels or other public spaces when possible.)

International travel restrictions can change very quickly during the pandemic. If you must travel abroad, we strongly encourage travelers to monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel restrictions, the U.S. Department of State warning levels for COVID-19 risk, and to check early with the OSU Office of International Services to ensure that no additional restrictions have been put in place. We further encourage travelers to closely monitor restrictions while away.

Please follow these precautions:

  • Stay informed about your travel destinations by checking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. State Department websites above and official sources of public health and travel information at your travel destination
  • Check with airlines and minimize layovers and transfers when possible.
Last updated: July 10, 2020

The COVID-19 leave will be paid and charged to departments under the same process as current sick leave. Grants will be responsible for this unanticipated expense.

Last updated: March 24, 2020

All OSU employees:

Employees who are not able to perform their duties remotely and cannot be reassigned to other work for the sponsored project and have exhausted COVID-19 Leave, accrued paid leave and any supplemental programs (as listed below), cannot continue to get paid for work that has not been rendered. This applies to all sources of salary funding (state, gift, grant, other funding). If you believe that you or an employee will be in this situation, please contact your Human Resources (HR) Strategic Partner.

OSU research employees:

OSU encourages principal investigators and research supervisors to identify meaningful work for research employees that brings value to the university’s mission and advances a research project and scholarship. During the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to the extent possible, PIs and supervisors should reassign graduate research assistants, research associates and faculty research assistants to undertake work that might fall outside of an originally intended work plan but still is in keeping with the intent of the project or grant and advances their research.

Last updated: July 21, 2020

All OSU employees:

Employees who are not able to perform their duties remotely and cannot be reassigned to other work for the sponsored project and have exhausted COVID-19 Leave, accrued paid leave and any supplemental programs (as listed below), cannot continue to get paid for work that has not been rendered. This applies to all sources of salary funding (state, gift, grant, other funding). If you believe that you or an employee will be in this situation, please contact your Human Resources (HR) Strategic Partner.

OSU research employees:

OSU encourages principal investigators and research supervisors to identify meaningful work for research employees that brings value to the university’s mission and advances a research project and scholarship. During the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to the extent possible, PIs and supervisors should reassign graduate research assistants, research associates and faculty research assistants to undertake work that might fall outside of an originally intended work plan but still is in keeping with the intent of the project or grant and advances their research. 

Leave Benefits for All OSU Employees:

As a reminder, all OSU employees who are not able to work due to the university’s COVID-19 response – or due to their own personal wellness or family circumstances – may use the following leave, if eligible.

  • Use first: OSU-provided 80 hours of paid COVID-19 leave. This paid leave is pro-rated to the FTE of an employee’s current appointment. This 80-hour benefit is consistent with recently required federal COVID-19 benefits and is not meant to be in addition to federally mandated time. 
  • Then use: Accrued personal sick leave, personal leave and accrued vacation that an employee may have available.
  • In addition: All employees have supplemental leave programs. Academic and professional faculty may request use of the Unearned Sick Leave Advance program. Classified employees and Graduate Assistants have use of donation programs contained within the respective collective bargaining agreements between their union and the university.
Last updated: April 12, 2020

OSU is keepinging track of any leave that a grant-funded employee used because they could not work due to COVID-19 so that the costs on grants due to the COVID-19 crisis can be documented and communicated.  Employees who are not able to perform their duties remotely and have exhausted COVID-19 leave should use accrued sick leave and vacation (when applicable). For more details, see details on the HR COVID-19 Leave page.

If an employee is using accrued sick, vacation of other leave (other than COVID-19) because they cannot perform their duties due to COVID-19, they should indicate this when recording the leave (see instructions).

Last updated: April 8, 2020